To avoid a really long post, I’ve divided my 2010 ASAE Annual Meeting beer-drinking experience into two parts. Part 1 will focus on local brew pubs and beer bars in and around downtown LA.
Weiland Brewery Restaurant Underground
It didn’t take me long to find a hoppy west coast IPA upon arriving in Los Angeles for the 2010 ASAE Annual Meeting on Friday, August 20. I had done some homework before the trip, and I found a few places around my hotel that I wanted to explore. So after checking into the Sheraton Downtown, I walked two blocks north to Weiland Brewery Restaurant Underground. This place was in an unfortunate location – in an underground mall/food court right across from a McDonalds. I had my doubts as I walked into the place and saw the huge wall of liquor bottles behind the bar. Was this place serious about the beer?
Yes – the IPA was excellent, a perfect remedy for the cross-country flight from Baltimore. The longer I stayed, the more I enjoyed it, as the mall/food court outside the doors faded away. The bartender was friendly, knowledgeable about the beers, and he pointed me to a couple of other places in the area that I might like. Some locals came in to visit with him, and I was welcomed into the conversation. The vibe was so relaxed, I took the time to try the house Hefeweizen and a Brown Ale from Bear Republic, called Peter Brown Tribute Ale.
Engine Co. No. 28
I met a group for dinner at Engine Co. No. 28 where I found Firestone Walker DBA (Double Barrel Ale) and Fireman’s Blonde, a Pilsner that is brewed by Fireman’s Brew in California. Thanks to Bruce, Susanne, Keith, Brad, and the rest of the CSC crew for a fun dinner.
Yard House LA
I tweeted on August 20: #ASAE10 is dangerously close to the Yard House LA, where I’m enjoying happy hour and an Alaskan IPA. Don’t find many Alaskan beers in DC!
I love the Yard House! How can you not love a place that has 150 beers on draft? The LA Yard House was located in LA Live, a huge complex anchored by the Staples Center, so it was a lively spot with a fun atmosphere. I loved the beer menu, and the hunt for beers that I can’t get back east around DC, such as:
I visited the Yard House on three separate occasions, and enjoyed raising a pint with Todd, Kerri, David, Carrie, Cecilia, Kim, Frank, and Karen!
Spring Street Smokehouse
The bartender at Weiland Brewery Restaurant Underground told me about a BBQ place that had a great selection of California craft beer, and when I had a free afternoon, I cabbed over to Spring Street Smokehouse. I’m glad that I made the effort to check it out. I couldn’t describe it any better than my tweet from the visit:
Killing time with a Racer 5 IPA from Bear Republic at Spring Street Smokehouse in Chinatown LA-awesome BBQ, friendly locals, CA brew #asae10
The clean, crisp Scrimshaw Pilsner from North Coast Brewing Company was the perfect beer to have with my smoky and spicy beef brisket.
Finally, one night I had dinner at Bottega Louie, a hip Italian restaurant a block from my hotel. Chimay Blue was my beer of choice with dinner, and despite all of the California beers I tried during my visit, Chimay Blue may have been the best beer I had in downtown LA.